Do you have a talented equestrian at your PATH Intl. center? Do you admire a particular instructor or an equine specialist in mental health and learning? Does a special horse, mule or mini that has a priceless attitude call your center home? Do you know of a volunteer or veterinarian who generously gives time at a PATH Intl. center?

Now is the time to submit an award nomination for these special individuals and animals.

2021 PATH Intl. Awards Process

In 2018 as part of the strategic plan and from member input, staff reviewed processes related to the international conference, and one of the areas reviewed was the PATH Intl. Awards Program. We understand that time is a resource that many member centers do not have enough of, and we have heard that is one reason centers do not always nominate for the awards program. Because all of our equines, volunteers, veterinarians and credentialed professionals are deserving of recognition, the nomination forms were streamlined into a short form so member centers can nominate in less time. In 2020 all award nominations will be scored, and in the event of a tie, the winners will be selected randomly out of those with the highest tied score. Also recognizing that travel to the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting may pose financial worries and that family and friends are not always there to share in the excitement, the regional awards will be presented at the regional conferences. This may be more convenient and less expensive for the award winners, families and friends to attend. International winners in all categories, including the equestrian winners, will be honored at the international conference.

Below is a summary of the 2021 process:

  1. The awards nomination form for the equines, volunteers and veterinarians will be scored based on criteria, experience, and ranking of attributes as indicated on the form.
    • The regional winner will be based on the highest score.
    • In the event of a tie for regional winner, the winner will be selected by random from those tied with the highest score.
  2. The awards nomination form for the credentialed professional will be scored with criteria such as being a member in good standing, minimum length of certification/service, contribution to program and adhering to PATH Intl. Standards/code of ethics and ranking of attributes.
    • The regional winner will be based on the highest score.
    • In the event of a tie for regional winner, the winner will be selected by random from those tied with the highest score.
  3. The nominators of regional winners will be asked to submit reference forms that include essays for consideration in selection of the international winner. Regional winner reference forms will need to be submitted by May 28, 2021 to be considered for the 2020 PATH Intl. award in their respective category.

Nominations for regional award categories must be submitted by December 1, 2020. This is to ensure that regional winners are notified in time for the 2020 region conferences.

Equestrian of the year awards are national awards, and the nomination deadline for this category is May 28, 2021

Here is a summary of the required criteria for the 2021 PATH Intl. Awards Nominations:

General Nomination Criteria:

  • Nominating centers must be current center members in good standing.
  • Only one nomination is allowed per center per category.
  • In the Equine, Veterinarian and Volunteer categories, the center is not eligible to submit a nomination if they had a regional winner in that category in 2020.
  • The nominee is ineligible if they have won a PATH Intl. award in their respective category in the last five years.

Equestrians of the Year Criteria:

  • The equestrian participates in an equestrian activity at a PATH Intl. Member Center in good standing and has a disability/special need.
  • The adult equestrian must be at least 18 years old as of January 1, 2021
  • The PATH International Equine Services for Heroes equestrian nominee must be at least 18 years old and a military veteran or currently enlisted in the military.
  • The youth equestrian must be at least 4 years old but under the age of 18 as of January 1 2021.

The Equestrian of the Year is not a regional award. The equestrian awards will have reference essays judged by a panel of volunteer judges to determine the winner in each category.

Equine of the Year Criteria:

  • The equine’s previous experience has added value to his/her services in the field of EAAT at the nominating center.
  • The equine has an excellent attitude for work in the field of EAAT.
  • The equine’s contributions are significant to the nominating center.
  • The equine has good relationships with the participants with whom he/she interacts with at the nominating center.

Volunteer of the Year Criteria:

  • The volunteer has been active in the center’s program for the entire year prior to this nomination and is still active at this time.
  • The volunteer is not paid for his/her time at the center.
  • The volunteer’s contributions to the center are of the highest quality.
  • The volunteer is reliable and consistently follows thought with his/her commitments
  • The volunteer’s contributions have helped enhance the ability of the center to provide equine-assisted activities and therapies.
  • The nominee has a long history of volunteer service, either at the center or elsewhere in the community.

Veterinarian of the Year Criteria:

  • The veterinarian volunteers at least a portion of his/her time or products to the nominating center.
  • The veterinarian is currently licensed in his/her state or county of practice.
  • The veterinarian demonstrates compassion and respect for participants and clients.
  • The veterinarian demonstrates safe, ethical and humane treatment of equines.

Credentialed Professional of the Year Criteria

  • The credentialed professional is a current PATH Intl. member in good standing
  • The credentialed professional holds a PATH Intl. certification or EFP or EAL credentials.
  • The credentialed professional has a minimum of two years’ experience in their respective field.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates excellent teaching, facilitating or other related skills.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates compassion and respect for students, clients, staff and volunteers.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates safe, ethical and humane partnering with equines.
  • The credentialed professional adheres to all applicable PATH Intl. Standards, guidelines and code of ethics.

Additional information for the credentialed professional to be submitted will include credentials, certifications, and experience information, and the nominator will be asked to rank certain attributes of the nominee.

Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form, and fill out the form in its entirety.
If you have questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (800) 369-7433.


Click here for the PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award criteria and forms.

Equestrians of the Year - Deadline May 28, 2021
   Sample Nomination Form

Regional Awards - Deadline December 1, 2020

Equines of the Year
   Sample nomination form

Credentialed Professionals of the Year
   Sample nomination form

Volunteers of the Year
   Sample nomination form

Veterinarians of the Year
   Sample nomination form




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